I wanted to tell you all of my recent trip to Toronto (from Buffalo), and what I found as far as fish stores.
Aquarium Services Warehouse Outlets
180 Steeles Avenue West
From downtown, take Yonge subway north to Finch Station, then bus #60/Steeles West. When it turns left onto Steeles, get off about 0.5km after the turn. On the north side of the street, look for a really tall narrow plaza sign with a faded tan & white "180" way at the top. The store is way in the back of the plaza on the lefthand side.
This store is awesome!
I didn't actually count, but I would estimate they have about 300 tanks. Although 3/4 of them were average freshwater species, they have the best saltwater collection I have ever seen. The plant selection is also excellent. I would say there were about 20 tanks dedicated solely to plants, in addition to one of those multilevel waterfall floor displays like all the big retail chains have. All the plants were well organized into neat rows in each tank and clearly labeled. And the selection was very good. They also had about four or five complete planted tank setups throughout the store with *beautiful* growth; complete with CO2 systems, and good lights and the whole works. And the hardware saelection was excellent too; they had some things I've not seen in person in any of the stores here at home...things like lots of PVC bulkhead fittings, the *complete* line of Flourish products right up to the 2 liter sizes, and lots of little unique bits and pieces. Also, the store employees were friendly and knowledgable. But then again I find most Candians friendly and knowledgable by my Buffalonian standards.
I will definitely visit this store again on my next trip to Toronto.
Menagerie Pet Shop
549 Parliament Street
From Wellsley subway station, walk east about 8 streets to Parliement, then south two streets. It's a brown stone building on the east side of the street, with yellow awnings - I think with gold lions on them.
This is a great little all-around mom & pop pet shop. It's got great vibes and the sales people are all very friendly - even the two legged human ones.
I was ecstatic to find there a replacement impeller for my Hagen Powerhead 101 - which the company swears is not sold as a separate part (I sent them an email about it). They don't have a lot of fish, but they have a plant section which is good, albeit a bit smallish. They have a lot of birds, and a few reptiles. One thing they have that I hadn't seen a lot of before is those "european style" frameless tanks. From 2 gallon up through 10.
Marta's Pet & Aquaria
2149 Weston Road
This store is way over on the northwest side of the city. I had to stop off there with the car on the way home. Take 427 north from QEW to 401 east, and stay in the collectors. Go about 3km and get off at Weston road. Turn south at the exit, then follow Weston road (which snakes around a bit) to a plaza on the left side at the corner of Church st.
This is a nice little hole-in-the-wall petshop. Fish selection is small, but plant selection is good, and almost the same size as the fish section. The plants all looked healthy, and the selection was decent. I was overhearing the owner chat with a customer while I was there about a problem he was having, and the guy sounded friendly and fairly knowledgable.
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Next time I head up north of the border, I will check out some of the other places.